Kyle Dean Host: And we're back here on WTIF. It is 9:36 on this Wednesday morning and it is 4-H Wednesday. it is part of our UGA Tifton Farm Chat. And once again joining is Sara Sercer from Wilcox County 4-H. Good morning to you, Ms. Sara; how are you?
Sara Sercer, Wilcox County 4-H and Youth Program Assistant: Good morning. I'm fine, thank you.
Kyle Dean, Host: It's good to have you back in studio with us and you brought another student with you.
Sara Sercer, Wilcox County 4-H and Youth Program Assistant: I did. I have a young man that is in the performing arts.
Kyle Dean, Host: I love preforming arts, so it is good to talk with you James Ramsey. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you go to school?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: I go to school at Wilcox County High School. I'm a senior. I can't wait to graduate [Laughter].
Kyle Dean, Host: And you are in the 4-H, how long have you been involved in 4-H?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: About 8 years, since the 5th grade.
Kyle Dean, Host: So, they got you in early. I know you guys, Ms. Sara, you guys recruit at about that age.
Sara Sercer, Wilcox County 4-H and Youth Program Assistant: Absolutely. That's when we start is in the 5th grade and we try to hang on to them until they graduate.
Kyle Dean, Host: Is Wilcox Middle; is it the only middle school?
Sara Sercer, Wilcox County 4-H and Youth Program Assistant: Wilcox Elementary and Middle School.
Kyle Dean, Host: So you are there in the schools. You guys into private schools over in that area too.
Sara Sercer, Wilcox County 4-H and Youth Program Assistant: No, we don't have any in our county. The closest one is in Crisp County at Crisp Academy, so they go over there.
Kyle Dean, Host: And, they handle that one I'm sure. So you’ve been involved in 4-H, what projects have you participated in?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: Mainly the performing arts. I think I switched it up a couple years with performing arts – piano and instrumental. But since I been in high school, I've always done performing arts general which is a wide category. They’ve got anywhere from juggling to singing and playing the piano.
Kyle Dean, Host: So, what made you’d decide on performing arts? What do you like most about it?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: I've been performing all of my life; ever since I was 7 years old and I got my first little keyboard. From Mary Had a Little Lamb to Beethoven’s Fleur de Lis (Dean: That was easy too du, du, du.) But ever since I was 7, it just took off from there.
Kyle Dean, Host: What do you like most about playing the piano? What maybe was your favorite piece? What's your favorite thing to play?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: I'm really big into the Christian Contemporary (Dean: Yes.) stuff. Yes.
Kyle Dean, Host: Awesome. Tell us a little bit – you also play more instruments besides that, besides piano.
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: Piano was my first, then I picked up the drums and I've taught myself a little bit on the bass guitar. I play drums in a church in Ashburn, Bethel Baptist. I've been playing there ever since Thanksgiving 201,1 around that time. I used to be in a Christian contemporary rock band. We’ve travel to Jamaica, local churches from Atlanta to South Georgia, anywhere and everywhere. It’s just been – music has been a major part of my life.
Kyle Dean, Host: You are a vocalist as well.
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: Yes, sir.
Kyle Dean, Host: And, you are involved in your school as far as chorus. (Ramsey: Yes sir.) Are you involved there? What do you do with chorus there?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: I served as president for 2 years. Mainly I just stand out as a leader. I kind of lead the group a little bit. If someone needs help, I'm there to help them. It's a real experience to see what you know and apply it to help others. It's really opened up my eyes to see how much I really know as I serve as president for my chorus.
Kyle Dean, Host: And you talked about teaching yourself some on the bass guitar, did you do that as well for piano or have you gotten some formal training there?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: At about the age of 8, my mom signed me up for piano lessons. I took for a few years and then she passed away and for a few years I didn't want to really take anymore. And right about my 9th grade year, I found a lady in Cordele, Georgia. Her name is Kim French and I've been taking from her; but, from 7 to now I've just blossomed and she doesn't really teach me piano anymore; she kind of focuses on my vocal.
Kyle Dean, Host: Oh good; it's good to have that. So, I guess you can play by note or by ear chord?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: Mainly by ear. I can play by chord charts. I'm not the best at sight reading but...
Kyle Dean, Host: Yes, it's a lot of fun to test yourself I guess and get involved (Ramsey: Yes sir.) into different types of playing because there are various types of piano performance out there. (Ramsey: Yes sir.) Now, tell us a little bit about what the plans are as far as you moving towards what your goal is, I guess that is call DPA and then State Congress in July.
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: At DPA I performed Little Richard's Tooty Fruity, an exciting piece. (Dean: Yes.) [laughing] I placed 2nd out of my category. And if there are 8 in your category, then there is a sweepstakes winner, 1st and 2nd place get to go to state. And, I placed 2nd, so I think it's the week of July 24th I will be going to Atlanta, Georgia to State Congress to compete to be, hopefully to become, a Master 4-Her.
Kyle Dean, Host: Tell us what it takes, Sara, you've got to know what it takes to be a Master 4-Her. What do these folks have to do? What are the requirements, the basic requirements?
Sara Sercer, Wilcox County 4-H and Youth Program Assistant: When they get to State Congress, they have an interview with a judge and they have to do their demonstration again which, of course, will be his piece with Tooty Fruity. And they choose the best of the best. You just have to work really hard and they place 1st out of a possible 8 in that group because the performing arts category is so big. And, usually there are at least 8 in there. So, he will be competing against 7 other performers. But, I think he can do it. He's mastered as far as we are concerned.
Kyle Dean, Host: Awesome. What are your plans for the future? What do you want to do with your career when you get out of high school?
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: Right now, I haven't dead set my mind to a college right when I get out of high school. I really want to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. I would love to go into the music career; probably being a session musician, going into the musical performance career, doing a lot of studio work, back up stuff and I like to write my own stuff, too. So, I’d try to get into the recording industry as well.
Kyle Dean, Host: I have 2 friends that I met in high school that sang in literary quartet; we finished 2nd in the state that year. One of them went to Shorter College and is now a vocalist with the Atlanta Sacred Chorale. The other is now a traveling opera singer based out of Michigan with the University of Michigan. It just goes to show you where the performing arts can take you if you just let it take you there and really believe in yourself; (Ramsey: Exactly) so, kudos to you in this realm of performing arts. We wish you the best of luck and hope you get that Master Certification.
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: Thank you.
Kyle Dean, Host: Alright, James Ramsey and Ms. Sara Sercer, appreciate you dropping by and taking with us once again.
Sara Sercer, Wilcox County 4-H and Youth Program Assistant: Thank you.
James Ramsey, Wilcox County 4-Her: Thank you.
Kyle Dean, Host: Alright, we'll be back right after this on WTIF.